03 November 2008

Beer Review, Stone Russian Imperial Stout

Stone Russian Imperial Stout (or Imperial Russian Stout)

BA once listed this as the number three beer in the world, but they've re-jiggered the ranking algorithm since then. It now sits at number 15.

Appearance: This thing is so dark you'd probably need a photospectrometer to differentiate its color from that of the Bootes Void... and yeah, I was waiting for the opportunity to use that tortured metaphor. Suffice to say it's extremely deep black, completely opaque, Has a tiny head that dissipates but leaves a touch of lacing regardless. It's not quite as intense as Dark Lord, but it's close. 4.5/5

Smell: Highly malty, strong notes of barley and intense grains. Hints of coffee and bittersweet chocolate. Lots of hops and a touch of astringency due to alcohol. Rich, inviting. 4.5/5

Taste: Heavily malty, strong doses of crisp California hops, with a strong tart astringency due to the alcohol. Delicious qualities of coffee, chocolate, hints of bittersweet raisins. Sweet and astringent finish, with a dry, bittersweet, malty aftertaste that leaves me wanting another drink. As the beer warms the dryness and the maltiness become more prominent. Delicious and well-executed. 4.5/5

Mouthfeel: Thick, low carbonation. Chewy but also smooth. 5.0/5

Drinkability: A fantastic beer. Approximately equal to Bell's Expedition in terms of quality, and a fine brew to have on these cold winter evenings. A beer designed to be savored and enjoyed for as long as the bottle lasts. 5.0/5

Overall: 4.6/5

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